On 8 December 1980, John Winston Ono Lennon, better known by his stage name John Winston Lennon, died at the age of 69. In his music, writing, and painting, as well as on film and in interviews, Lennon was known for his rebellious attitude and biting humor. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr’s songwriting relationship has been the most successful in history.
As a young man growing up in Liverpool, John Lennon was immersed in the skiffle movement. The Quarrymen, which he founded in 1956, eventually became the Beatles in 1960. At first, he was the group’s de facto leader, a position he later handed over to McCartney. In His Own Write and A Spaniard in the Works, two volumes of nonsensical writings and line drawings were published by Lennon in the mid-1960s.
The anti-war movement and the broader counterculture embraced his songs, starting with “All You Need Is Love.” His second wife, the artist Yoko Ono, joined him in the Plastic Ono Band in 1969, and two years later, in 1970, he abandoned the Beatles to pursue a solo career and staged a two-week anti-war protest called Bed-Ins for Peace.
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October 9, 1940, was the day of John Winston Lennon’s birth in Liverpool, England. A commercial seaman, his father was frequently gone from home during World War II. In the absence of John Lennon’s paternal father, his mother fell pregnant with the child of a different man. Following the father’s reappearance, John’s mother was forced to let her sister raise the kid when a custody fight began.
John’s first acoustic guitar was given to him by his mother in 1956, just before he graduated from high school. John Lennon’s mother died two years later after being hit by a vehicle. During his final year of high school, Lennon gained a reputation for his outspokenness following this event.
From the age of 15, John Lennon was actively immersed in music. The Quarrymen, his first band, was formed in 1956 and was known as the Quarrymen. Lennon invited Paul McCartney to join The Quarrymen after they met at their second show. After that, McCartney encouraged Harrison, a buddy from high school, to join the group.
Though just 14, Lennon welcomed Harrison into the group. The Quarrymen had renamed themselves The Beatles by 1960 when they released their first album.
When Pete Best joined the band in the early ’60s, they toured Germany. McCartney began playing bass after their original bassist opted to remain in Hamburg. Ringo Starr eventually took the position of Pete Best. These four individuals would go on to become known as The Beatles.
It was with the tune “Love Me Do” that they first gained mainstream recognition. Please Please Me, their first album, was released soon after. When “Beatlemania” reached its peak in 1963, it had already taken hold.
They appeared on British and American television programs at the same time. Concerts were so loud that Lennon was anxious about whether or not the audience could hear what the band had to say.
He controversially claimed that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus in 1966, saying: “The Beatles are more popular than Jesus.” “Christianity is doomed. It’s going to disappear and diminish… I don’t know which will vanish first, rock & roll or Christianity: we’re more popular than Jesus now.
The Evening Standard carried the quote. Although the phrase was considered mild in the UK, the KKK and other hate groups in the US found it offensive. The band decided to quit touring after they were repeatedly threatened.
John Lennon’s Net Worth
At the time of his death in 1980, John Lennon was an English musician, singer, and composer worth $200 million USD. In today’s values, that equates to $620 million in current value. Royalties, merchandising, licensing fees, and other sources of income from his estate would bring in hundreds of millions of dollars over the next decades. Yoko Ono, his eldest daughter, is now worth $700 million.
When John Lennon died in 1980, he had a net worth of $200 million, George Harrison had a net worth of $100 million, Ringo had a net worth of $80 million, and Paul had a net worth of $400 million.
It’s no surprise that John Lennon is one of the most widely recognized musicians of our time. John Lennon, in particular, was hailed for his songwriting prowess. John Lennon was also a political activist and a leader of the Peace Movement in the 1960s, which he helped to spearhead.
In 1970, John Lennon and Yoko Ono formed the John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band as a side project to begin their independent careers. Although the album was praised by critics, it failed to sell well. With his 1971 album Imagine, he adopted a more mainstream sound. They became extreme leftists after moving to New York City and began denouncing the United States’ handling of the Vietnam War. Nixon swore to deport Lennon and worked tirelessly over the next four years to do it.
John Lennon’s reputation sank to new lows with the release of Some Time in New York City. He had made a reputation for himself via political action, but detractors believed that his teachings had become dated and that his lyrics were too preachy.
It was in this year that he and Ono decided to break up. In 1974, John Lennon had become a heavy drinker. In spite of his attempts to create records for many performers, his unpredictability earned him an unprofessional rap.
When John Lennon and Elton John collaborated on the song “Whatever Gets You Through the Night,” it was a bright spot in this era. “Imagine” was John Lennon’s highest-charting solo single. Ono and Lennon eventually reconciled and had a child together. As soon as he had his kid, John Lennon took a break from music to spend as much time as possible with the child.
For the next five years, he would be on a break. By the time he made his triumphant comeback to music in 1980, however, John Lennon had only been able to record one album and a handful of singles before being shot to death.
It was December 8th, 1980, when John Lennon was killed by a fan who wanted to make it big.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Did John Lennon Have a Bed in?
As an experiment, the Bed-ins for Peace were two-week-long non-violent rallies against war. The Vietnam War consumed John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1969, while they protested in the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel and Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel.
How Did Yoko Ono and John Lennon Meet?
A London gallery hosted an exhibition of Ono’s art and the two first met there in November 1966. A whirlwind relationship ensued between the two of them, which was at times contentious. The pair married on March 20, 1969, just three years after they first met.
What Were John Lennon Last Words?
Mark Chapman shot and killed John Lennon on a New York street in 1980, and in an emotional interview, his widow, Yoko Ono, has revealed the final words he said to her before he died. “I asked if we could go out for supper before we went back to our hotel.”